Kaleidotrope - November 2016
Edited by Fred Coppersmith
Cover Artist: The Good Student byEddie Wilson
Review by Sam Tomaino
Date: 27 October 2016
Links: Kaleidotrope / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Kaleidotrope Autumn 2016 is here and, it's another great issue.
The issue begins with "In the City of Kites and Crows" by Megan Arkenberg. -+- In some nameless city, Hytholday becomes sexually involved with people trying to overthrow, the government, but manages to remain apart from everything. The name seems to be a reference to a character in Thomas More's Utopia, a world traveler. Okay.
"Reflection Espied in the Glass Façade of 20 Fenchurch Street" by Matt Thompson -+- Don't know whether to consider this a short-short or a prose poem, but it was a fascinating read. It opens by telling us that a "mirror city ... lies beneath London's streets where buildings and people are identical but the animus is different". Above it's light and energy. Below its glue-like lethargy and indifference. They are largely unaware of each other. But should they? Beautiful little piece.
"Count Esterházy's Harmonium" by Joe Pitkin -+- An epistolary tale, told at the beginning by a letter from a man named Mihaly Esterházy (to his daughter) in the ancient city of Buda in 1529, while the Turks are besieging the city and next a letter from a young American woman named Katie Eger to her father, at the university in Budapest in 2012. The letters alternate and discuss a grand clockwork device called the Harmonium that the Count has built and that Katie's boyfriend, Michael, has rebuilt. The stories come together in a very interesting way.
"A Pearl for Amalie" by Mary E. Lowd -+- Amelie finds a bulky sealed envelope in her late Aunt Jill's belongings. It contains what looks like a pearl and a letter her aunt had written to a colleague and never sent, telling about an encounter with what seems mythological creatures. There's more to the story than that and it's all very well-told. Nicely done.
"The Long Game" by Rachel Acks -+- Since mention is made of a speakeasy, one assumes this story takes place during Prohibition. Gavin MacRaed, taking up safe-cracking, joins a gang of bank robbers led by a guy called Jimmy Flash-Bang. Jimmy's jobs usually go off without a hitch, mostly through odd coincidences that Jimmy somehow sees coming. The only exception had been before Gavin joined when Jimmy was distracted and his brother Bobby got life in prison. But one job does go wrong or does it? Great little story and a lot of fun.
Kaleidotrope is a just a delicious magazine to read. Check it out at their website (see link at the top of this review).